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Top Spin 3 Review

Wii Sports tennis has a new challenger

It's strange. Despite the fact that the Wii's been around for a year and a half now, and despite the fact that Wii Sports is so popular among those who own the console, Top Spin 3 is actually the first 'serious' Wii tennis game.

We'd have thought that someone else would have jumped on the 'everyone loves playing tennis on the Wii' bandwagon before now, but there you go. Because of this, Top Spin 3 is the best realistic tennis game on the Wii by default. But does it live up to the accolade?

In short, yes it does, mainly due to the control system. Despite our fears that it would make the game a little over-simplified compared to its satisfyingly detailed older brothers, Top Spin 3's use of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk is actually pretty impressive.

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Planning Permission

Basically, the game asks you to point the Remote at the TV as you usually would, but to roll it over 90 degrees so it feels more like you're holding the handle of a tennis racquet. Strangely though, rather than making use of the Remote's accelerometer, it works out your stroke another way. When you're not swinging (in your ready position) you should have your Remote pointing at the screen.

As you begin to play your stroke, you swing the Remote back, at which point the game registers how quickly you moved it away from the telly. Then, when your player makes the swing, you have to match the timing as closely as possible, with the game picking up how quickly you move the Remote back across the screen. Put simply, it judges the swing on how fast you make the pointer move, rather than the Remote. And it works very well.

This also makes it easier to play special shots and put spin on your ball. Since it's registering the point at which your invisible pointer leaves the screen, you can easily slice or spin the ball by swinging in a diagonal motion. Lobs are much more satisfying when you play them by lifting the Remote upward. Crucially, the analogue stick gives you full control over not only your player but the direction of your shots too.

Naturally, multiplayer is the order of the day here but there's also a decent single-player career mode which should last you for a good while. Add to that an impressive selection of licensed players (though we reckon there could have been a few more in there) and you've got an enjoyable game that's ideal for tennis nuts. Shame there's no online mode, though.

Comments

24 comments so far...
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  1. fanboy Friday 20th Jun 2008 at 12:05

    Yet again Im gonna end up getting this on PS3 for the online.

    Why isn't there online? Theres really no excuse.

    How come ONM haven't gone mental about it either? Like they did with Sega Tennis.

  2. Go_Figure Friday 20th Jun 2008 at 14:38

    You say the graphics were good and solid lol, yeah solid for a N64 game im sorry but they were absolutly poor even if the gameplay was good and the lifespan, its suppose to be a real tennis simulator you need decent graphics. Will nintendo ever learn... u be the judge of that

  3. fanboy Friday 20th Jun 2008 at 15:29

    You say the graphics were good and solid lol, yeah solid for a N64 game im sorry but they were absolutly poor even if the gameplay was good and the lifespan, its suppose to be a real tennis simulator you need decent graphics. Will nintendo ever learn... u be the judge of that

    The graphics are irrelevent.

    For it to be a good simulator its the physics and player movement that needs to be right. Virtua Tennis on the Dreamcast is still one of the best tennis games around (if not THE best), and that doesn't have fantastic graphics (although it did for the time) so your point doesn't make sense.

    It really annoys me that there is no online though. I mean, for a tennis game... Come on! You HAVE to put online in a tennis game these days, its just part of the rules! Im really annoyed Im gonna have to get this on the PS3 cos I really wanted to try it out on the Wii, what with the controls and everything. Do they not want our money or something?

  4. adastoy Friday 20th Jun 2008 at 15:42

    what a waste! another good game i won't be getting cos we've been sold short with no online same as sega super star tennis,what makes these companies think i'd pay the same price for the wii version which don't have the same lifespan as them on other formats.then they wonder why these games don't sell as well on wii. what's the point in it all? i want more online games!

  5. Winston99 Friday 20th Jun 2008 at 16:54

    Sounds Good. I wont get it as im not a big fan of tennis, though my mum might. The online would have been the reason i would buy it myself, though.

  6. Poke365 Friday 20th Jun 2008 at 19:31

    can you stop judging things because they dont have online?
    a game can be reat without online and not everyone has it!

  7. Barton Friday 20th Jun 2008 at 21:48

    Online=long term longevity
    No Online= few weeks max for this sort of game

    grrr..


    by the way i literally cannot believe this...

    YOU GAVE SSBB ONLY 1% HIGHER THAN MYSIMS!!!!WTF!!!

  8. Squadala Saturday 21st Jun 2008 at 02:49

    What the hell is it with you lot and online play!?

    Yes, let's have an online mode so that the ball lags and you miss a shot due to Nintendo's crappy wifi service.

  9. yellowpages_r_us Saturday 21st Jun 2008 at 04:01

    Online multiplayer isn't a huge deal to most people. I'd much prefer to be in a room with my friends having an actual social experience playing games than play online. Online gaming is, in my opinion, something that should be kept to the PC gamers.

  10. mj scorpz Saturday 21st Jun 2008 at 09:00

    What the hell is it with you lot and online play!?

    Yes, let's have an online mode so that the ball lags and you miss a shot due to Nintendo's crappy wifi service.

    Exacly...some of the best games in the world are not online so stop moaning. Since when does a game need to have an onine mode, ok i would be disapointed if say super mario sluggers had no online mode but it should not effect a game that much!

  11. TWRoO Saturday 21st Jun 2008 at 10:30

    I am not fussed at all about online play, I doubt I would use it for a tennis game.

    What bothers me is the controls, they would be great for me because I know how it works, but I want a tennis game I can play with my family and I think only my dad would ever be able to get used to this.

  12. get2sammyb Saturday 21st Jun 2008 at 12:40

    I got the PS3 version - this game is SO hard. :(

  13. fanboy Saturday 21st Jun 2008 at 13:40

    The reason Im dissapointed about there being no online is because its a Tennis game!

    Normally Im not all that bothered, but without online this will become boring after a month, and theres also the issue of Wii owners again being given a raw deal. Why shouldn't Wii owners get online? They're paying the same price as the PS3 owners for the same game.

    I love having people round to play Ghost Squad, Wii Sports and House of the dead, but this is a proper 'hardcore' tennis game and it would be fantastic to play it online with leaderboards etc.

    You know, a few months ago I didn't rate online play at all. I had a 360 and all the kids screaming and shouting got on my nerves. Not only that, but whenever you turned your console on you alerted everyone you knew that you were playing (I really didn't like that).

    I traded my 360 in for a PS3 and the poorer service and lack of accessibility I actually prefer. It all feels a bit more private. Having played Unreal Tournament, COD4, FIFA, Team Fortress and GTA4 all online I've really got into it. Mario Kart on the Wii too is fantastic, along with MOHH2, so why couldn't they do it for this?

    I mean who would seriously still be playing Medal Of Honour now if it wasn't for the online? It makes games last so much longer.

  14. Anonymous Saturday 21st Jun 2008 at 14:37

    Online modes are gd dont get me wrong but it is not the end of the world it doesnt have one.
    This is the first real tennis game for Wii. That in itself is enough for me. Even if it had an online mode i would prob not use it, Online against one player wouldn't be gd, especially if the other player has a bad connection etc. Online multiplayers in my opinion should only be kept to groups of players playing in one game, in that case if one drops out for whatever reason the game is not spoiled.
    I will defo be getting this game and SSBB.
    That being said im still not happy that the Wii version has got less features then the PS3 one being not having online and 2 not having Nadel as well. But at least we have the realistic controls.
    Also now we've seen a real tennis game released on Wii i hope we are gonna see a cricket game released on Wii because that would be awesome.

  15. AbeyancesPhoneix Saturday 21st Jun 2008 at 16:20

    I'm considering this!
    Though with SSBB right around the corner, and the new docking station I wanted for my iPod, things could get a little pricey. =/

  16. Anonymous Saturday 21st Jun 2008 at 16:50

    WiFi is really mainly just for people who have no friends or if the game dose not have a long single player mode and this game does.

  17. fanboy Saturday 21st Jun 2008 at 17:16

    WiFi is really mainly just for people who have no friends or if the game dose not have a long single player mode and this game does.

    You just dont understand.

    Its not for people with no friends.

    Im not someone whose playing online all day, it just gives games 100% more lifespan. I wouldn't touch GTA4 now that I've completed it, but because of the online I still play it regularly (when it works).

    If you have proper online rankings and online tournaments in a tennis game, it would be miiillllees better. Like Mario Kart tournaments.

  18. fanboy Saturday 21st Jun 2008 at 17:20

    Online modes are gd dont get me wrong but it is not the end of the world it doesnt have one.
    This is the first real tennis game for Wii. That in itself is enough for me. Even if it had an online mode i would prob not use it, Online against one player wouldn't be gd, especially if the other player has a bad connection etc. Online multiplayers in my opinion should only be kept to groups of players playing in one game, in that case if one drops out for whatever reason the game is not spoiled.
    I will defo be getting this game and SSBB.
    That being said im still not happy that the Wii version has got less features then the PS3 one being not having online and 2 not having Nadel as well. But at least we have the realistic controls.
    Also now we've seen a real tennis game released on Wii i hope we are gonna see a cricket game released on Wii because that would be awesome.

    With the way games have progressed online rankings matches, singles and doubles and tournaments SHOULD be available on this game as standard in my opinion.

    I think online is really important in these kind of games, the whole connection thing is just luck really.

  19. Nemesis X1 Sunday 22nd Jun 2008 at 13:34

    Hmmm... Who to trust... If the latest issue of Ngamer is anything to go by then this is a poor game at best, but this Review makes it sound quite a desirable game... Well only one thing to do! Get my gullible mate to buy it so that I can play it :lol:

  20. Anonymous Sunday 22nd Jun 2008 at 16:58

    Hi Master Grax here
    back and now i have brought the game this morning.
    I would give this a 88%
    It is a great game.
    It took me a good 30-40mins getting used to the controls and after that you really get to see the good side to this game.
    Theres a tournament mode. Where you have to complete 11 different tournaments, leagues etc. Completing the first ones to move onto the next.
    One thing i think they could of done to make this game a bit better.
    Is to have put more real people on there. Like Nadel and the williams sisters would have been nice.
    It would have been nice to have roger federer's rival on there. But the closest person to his quality on there is Roddick.
    Defo is worth a buy i would say.
    Under rated in my opinion should at least be an 86%

  21. Laspher Sunday 22nd Jun 2008 at 20:42

    What the hell is it with you lot and online play!?

    Yes, let's have an online mode so that the ball lags and you miss a shot due to Nintendo's crappy wifi service.

    Exacly...some of the best games in the world are not online so stop moaning. Since when does a game need to have an onine mode, ok i would be disapointed if say super mario sluggers had no online mode but it should not effect a game that much!


    Your internet must be pretty sucky, I've had Mario Kart Wii for ... 3 weeks now and the online is seemless! No lag, no random crashing of the console, no nothing. And the best bit? IT FREAKIN' OWNS!

    IMO online play adds greatly to the experience, with mario kart you can choose to have 2 people ( in the same room ) play online with other people from around the globe at the same time, so your still playing against your mate, why not do the same with Top Spin 3?

  22. Paciugasso Monday 23rd Jun 2008 at 09:02

    You forgot to mention that this game is UNPLAYABLE FOR LEFT-HAND OWNER!!! There is NOT ANY OPTION TO CUSTOMIZE THE CONTROLS FOR LEFT HAND!!! (like Wii sports do). Very shame!!! :evil: :x :cry:

  23. phil44 Monday 23rd Jun 2008 at 17:57

    ok i have not played this game, but as far as the online debate, every sport title should have an online option as if it doesn't the life span of the game does shorten greatly unless u have friends on call to play u, which i dont think anybody has maybe im wrong, at least with online play u can play anytime of day or night, some how i think nintendo have something to do with some titles not being online. What i mean by this (and dont know if this is true or not its just a guess) but does ninty charge third partys a fee for using online because i really cant see any other reason for no third party titles to have online when the game is online for other consoles.
    In terms of lag in games eveyone will experience this at some point but with todays internet speeds most of the time u dont experience lag and if you do its usually the servers that are being used to blame if there not able to cope with the number of online games.

    the only reason i am not buying this game is due to the control system, imo i dont feel it would be as good as a control system as wii sports tennis, when the game picks up speed and gets a little frantic i can see this control system just failing but maybe i will be proved wrong i will need to find somewhere that has it on display to play.

  24. 94paulm Tuesday 29th Jul 2008 at 18:33

    How do you unlock the full 42 venues in the game cos i've only got about 12 or 13 venues :( :( :(

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